Satellites in wood

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brian livesey
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Satellites in wood

Post by brian livesey »

We all know that there's a big problem with orbiting "space junk", and the problem continues to grow as increasing numbers of satellites are being launched. A team at Kyoto University in collaboration with Sumitomo Forestry has begun research into making satellites from wood.
Taka Doi, an astronaut and professor at Kyoto University, explains: "We are very concerned with the fact that all satellites which enter Earth's atmosphere burn up and create tiny alumina particles which will float in the upper atmosphere for many years."
The idea is that wooden satellites would burn up on re-entry without polluting the atmosphere with fine particles and raining debris to the ground. There's also the problem of colliding pieces of spaceware creating clouds of debris that can damage other objects in orbit, including the International Space Station.
So far, two main approaches to avoiding "space junk" collisions have been proposed. One is to reduce the risk of collisions by applying avoidance techniques, and the other is to physically remove objects that pose a risk of colliding.
Last edited by brian livesey on Wed Dec 30, 2020 9:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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stella
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Re: Satellites in wood

Post by stella »

That should be Takao Doi.
The Chinese involved wood in the construction of satellites decades ago.
brian livesey
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Re: Satellites in wood

Post by brian livesey »

The Chinese used wood ( oak I think ) for heat shields on some of its space launches. They calculated for the wood to burn at a rate sufficient to last long enough for the object to reach the earth safely.
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Brian
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Re: Satellites in wood

Post by Brian »

You know, as a boy I grew up with balsa-wood model aircraft kits (Kiel-Kraft I seem to remember). It makes me smile to imagine that in future we might see balsa-wood satellites in orbit :) . I imagine one basic problem with hardwood for satellites is the weight factor on launch?
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brian livesey
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Re: Satellites in wood

Post by brian livesey »

I remember those model aircraft kits Brian, I assembled quite a few. I can still smell the glue. You will recall that the engine was a coiled rubber band, so mine didn't fly for long. The gliders went a bit further in the right wind conditions. :wink:
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schaeffer
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Re: Satellites in wood

Post by schaeffer »

Honestly I didn't quite get it, are they used now or still in progress?
Lariliss
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Re: Satellites in wood

Post by Lariliss »

Several launches announced, including also nano birch satellite from Europe.
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